Engender is launching a micro-lending program that will support women entrepreneurs as they start and sustain small businesses. Our program will serve those who are not able to secure capital through traditional methods.
We will focus on specific communities where we are able to define the need and opportunities, and make the most impact.
Our initial work will be focused on Hawaii.
The cost of living in Hawaii is incredibly high. According to the 2018 Annual Average Cost of Living Index, Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in. Land and resource scarcity adds to resident's difficulty to securely live on island. Speculative real estate transactions have driven up housing prices helping to creating extreme levels of income inequality.
Tourism, Hawaii's primary industry, creates jobs and income opportunity but no where near the level required to live sustainably on a single income. Much of the income generated by tourism is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and funneled outside of the state. Hawaii is increasingly a playground for the rich and it's people struggle to remain.
As a result, many residents take on more than one job, or create micro-enterprises to supplement income. With both a robust local market and a hungry tourism industry, micro-enterprises in Hawaii have great opportunity to grow and flourish.
Engender's micro-loan program will provide funding to launch and sustain women owned enterprises, that will give families the opportunity to work and live in Hawaii.